BY GAIL JOHNSON, STIR VAANCOUVER
The fest celebrates its 15th anniversary of summer-arts programming with the theme of Hauntings
QUEER ARTS FESTIVAL (QAF) celebrates 15 years of summer-arts programming with QAF 2022: Hauntings, a “playful and profound exploration of Queer existence throughout time and place”.
The fest takes place from June 18 to July 8, kicking off at Chinatown’s Sun Wah Centre with the event’s signature visual art exhibition.
Vanishing Act, curated by New Delhi-based Adwait Singh and directed by SD Holman, will be unveiled At the opening ArtParty!. Presented in partnership with Centre A, On Main Gallery, and Griffin Art Projects, the exhibition represents a survey of queer artistic practices from South Asian, African, and Middle Eastern artists, and more.
Throughout the fest, QAF’s visual art, performance, music, and literary events will explore the theme of hauntings, asking audiences: “What haunts you?”
“For Queer communities, fear, insecurity and longing have punctuated collective existence for decades,” a release states. “Queers everywhere exist with the haunting reminder of what colonial culture attempted to erase and an ephemeral suggestion of what future lays in wait. As with the generations that came before, this foreboding only places emphasis on the need for more celebrations, more art, and more community — this year, QAF doubles down on all three.”
QAF 2022 is hosting visiting artists for the first time since 2019, re-establishing its relationship with Roundhouse Community Centre for performances such as Bijuriya, the experimental drag persona of Montreal’s Gabriel Dharmoo; and Catalina La O Presenta: Now With Me, a one-woman show created by performance duo jk jk and winner of the 2020 Vancouver Fringe New Play Prize in its live theatre debut.
Among the other highlights is Pride in Art Community Show (June 20 to July 8), which this year marks QAF’s first partnership with James Black Gallery. The show honours the legacy of fest founder, activist, and Two-Spirit artist Robbie Hong.
QAF partners with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival for the first time to present Toronto-based R&B singer-songwriter Adria Kain and Montreal’s Janette King (June 24).
Reel Eerie on June 26 is a media-art screening of queer horror shorts, curated by CS Fergusson-Vaux and Ben Siegl.
On July 6, Vancouver/Edmonton writer and activist Berend McKenzie curates Queerotica, an evening of queer writers exploring theme of The Masc & Femme We Wear.
Glitter is Forever on July 8 is the Closing Party, with special-guest DJs, bubbles, and views from the rooftop of the Sun Wah Centre.
Festival passes are available for $69 until May 24. Single day event tickets will launch thereafter. Full details are at queerartsfestival.com.